Sports, Thrill of Victory

Ranking all 128 FBS teams after Week 5

The bulk of college football’s great games are ahead and most teams have now generally finished the “cupcake” portion of their schedules. With each team now having played anywhere from three to five games, we’ve got a little better idea of how everyone stacks up nationally, though the picture will certainly become more complete with the better games ahead of us.

With such schedule disparity, it’s tough to give an accurate ranking of every team, but I made a good effort… for each of the 128 teams, I look at the results of every game, yardage gained and given up, points scored and given up, and then carefully compared each team against the field. The answers weren’t easy and it’s too early to offer my conclusions with any large degree of confidence, but with that said, here’s where I’ve settled on everyone a month into the season, with an occasional comment here and there where I have something insightful to offer.

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1. Alabama (4-0): The Crimson Tide are really clicking on offense with new quarterback Blake Sims, though the schedule hasn’t exactly been overwhelming.

2. Auburn (4-0): I’m still having a hard time knowing what to do with the Tigers, who haven’t always looked as formidable offensively as they did a year ago, but at the same time have sometimes looked better on defense than we thought.

3. Oregon (4-0): Sometimes, I get the feeling that this Oregon team may not be as dominant as some of the more recent editions based on a shaky defense, but there’s plenty of football to come.

4. Oklahoma (4-0): Sooners are showing the kind of offensive (44.8 ppg) and defensive (16.5 ppg) excellence they’ll need to make the College Football Playoff.

5. Texas A&M (5-0): The Aggies got more of a scare than they’d hoped from Arkansas, but it says a lot that they survived what was a nightmare matchup in the Razorbacks’ rushing attack.

6.  Florida State (4-0): It may be harsh to rank an undefeated team coming off an undefeated national title season this low, but the Seminoles don’t look like anything close to the same team as last year to me.

7. Baylor (4-0): The Bears are the nation’s most statistically dominant team, but of course, we’re still waiting for them to play someone of consequence…

8. Ole Miss (4-0): Rebels have the fourth-best yardage (278 ypg) and scoring (30.5 ppg) margins in the country.

9. UCLA (4-0): With quarterback Brett Hundley healthy and playing well, it looks like UCLA’s sluggish start was nothing more than that.

10. Michigan State (3-1):  With a road loss to Oregon and three wins over nobodies, this weekend’s Nebraska game should be a much better barometer of what the Spartans are.

11. Georgia (3-1)

12. Mississippi State (4-0)

13. Notre Dame (4-0)

14. USC (3-1)

15. Stanford (3-1): The Cardinal is allowing a nation-low 6.5 ppg.

16. LSU (3-1)

17. Wisconsin (3-1)

18. Kansas State (3-1)

19. East Carolina (3-1)

20. BYU (4-0)

21. Clemson (2-2)

22. Ohio State (3-1)

23. Nebraska (5-0)

24. Oklahoma State (3-1)

25. Missouri (4-1)

26. TCU (3-0): Horned Frogs’ schedule has been pitiful, but coach Gary Patterson’s bunch is out-scoring teams by nearly 38 points per game.

27. Louisville (4-1)

28. South Carolina (3-2): Gamecocks’ schedule is arguably the toughest in the nation to date…

29. Arkansas (3-2)

30. West Virginia (2-2): … though mathematician Jeff Sagarin says that honor belongs to WVU.

31. Arizona (4-0): The season’s craziest play has kept the Wildcats unbeaten.

32. Marshall (4-0)

33. Utah (3-1)

34. Arizona State (3-1)

35. Virginia (3-2)

36. Tennessee (2-2)

37. Iowa (4-1)

38. Penn State (4-1)

39. Miami (3-2)

40. Georgia Tech (4-0): Of the nation’s 17 unbeatens, Tech is the lowest my my rankings.

41. Virginia Tech (3-2): That win at Ohio State seems so long ago…

42. Maryland (4-1)

43. Rutgers (4-1): Not many felt the Scarlet Knights would be 4-1 at this point.

44. Indiana (2-2): Hoosiers, who have in succession lost to Bowling Green, won at Missouri and then lost by 22 to Maryland, may be the nation’s toughest team to figure.

45. California (3-1): Golden Bears have already surpassed last year’s two-win total.

46. Duke (4-1)

47. Washington (4-1)

48. Washington State (2-3)

49. Memphis (2-2)

50. Texas (2-2)

51. Northern Illinois (3-1)

52. Pitt (3-2)

53. Boise State (3-2)

54. Colorado State (3-1)

55. Boston College (3-2)

56. Florida (2-1)

57. North Carolina State (4-1)

58. Minnesota (4-1)

59. Oregon State (3-1)

60. Cincinnati (2-1)

61. Syracuse (2-2)

62. Northwestern (2-2)

63. Nevada (3-1)

64. Kentucky (3-1)

65. Texas Tech (2-2)

66. Iowa State (1-3)

67. Georgia Southern (3-2): Final-minute losses to Georgia Tech and North Carolina State are all that stand between the Eagles and an unbeaten season.

68. UCF (1-2)

69. MTSU (3-2)

70. Navy (2-3)

71. Michigan (2-3)

72. Arkansas State (2-2)

73. North Carolina (2-1)

74. Temple (3-1)

75. Toledo (3-2)

76. Illinois (3-2)

77. Colorado (2-3)

78. Western Kentucky (2-2)

79. Utah State (2-2)

80. Houston (2-2)

81. Akron (2-2)

82. San Diego State (2-2)

83. Bowling Green (3-2)

84. Louisiana Tech (2-3)

85. Texas State (2-2)

86. UTSA (1-3)

87. Louisiana-Monroe (3-1)

88. Wake Forest (2-3)

89. North Texas (2-2)

90. Hawaii (1-3): Tough-luck Rainbow Warriors have dropped three games to Pac-12 schools by 18 total points.

91. UAB (2-2)

92. Ball State (1-3)

93. Wyoming (3-2)

94. Air Force (3-1): A huge upset of Boise State lifted the Falcons a win past last year’s total.

95. Purdue (2-3)

96. South Florida (2-3)

97. Vanderbilt (1-4)

98. Old Dominion (3-2)

99. Louisiana-Lafayette (1-3)

100. Western Michigan (1-3)

101. San Jose State (1-3)

102. Rice (1-3)

103. Ohio (3-2)

104. Kansas (2-2)

105. Army (1-3)

106. Buffalo (3-2)

107. South Alabama (2-2)

108. Fresno State (2-3)

109. FAU (2-3)

110. UTEP (2-2)

111. Central Michigan (2-3)

112. FIU (2-3)

113. Tulsa (1-3)

114. Tulane (1-3)

115. Connecticut (1-4)

116. New Mexico (1-3)

117. Southern Miss (2-3)

118. Appalachian State (1-3)

119. New Mexico State (2-3)

120. UNLV (1-4)

121. Miami (Ohio) (0-5)

122. Massachusetts (0-5)

123. Georgia State (1-3)

124. Troy (0-5)

125. Idaho (0-4)

126. Kent State (0-4)

127. SMU (0-4): The Mustangs not only lost coach June Jones, but they’re also losing by an average of 50.5 to 3 each week.

128. Eastern Michigan (1-3): Eagles’ lone win came against FCS’s Morgan State, by a field goal.